April Brings Interesting Google News

[UPDATE: there was a Google Earth joke after all – read this post for the details.]
There’s always some interesting news at the beginning of April. Here’s a few interesting stories GEB readers might enjoy:

  • Project Virgle – Google released a press release today about their plans to work with Virgin Galactic’s Richarch Branson to come up with a Plan B for the human race. They have revealed elaborate plans to colonize Mars. You can read the full details at their new Project Virgle web site. See the Reuters story based on the press release.

  • Google Earth X-Ray ImageryGoogleSightseeing.com releases news late last night that based on an anonymous tip from a Googler, Google is planning to release new imagery layers allowing views of both X-Ray and Thermal Infrared imagery so you can see inside buildings. The imagery will come from space satellites, so Google says there is no legal ramifications to the new data. To prove this they have released a sample showing the Pentagon with X-Ray and Thermal Infrared imagery.

  • Open Source Google Earth Imagery – Chad at Earth Is Square blog shares a press release someone gave him saying Google will be releasing its Google Earth imagery to the public domain so programs like World Wind will be able to use its imagery. Something WW users have long wished for.

  • Singapore Plans to Ban Google Earth – According to SinGeo blog, Google is violating Singapore Land Authority (SLA) copyrights due to no longer having a license to use the real Singapore landscape. According to SinGeo: “The dispute centres over SLA’s allegation that the satellite images available in Google Earth are direct copies of real geographic features in Singapore and infringe SLA’s copyright.” Not only that, but Google Earth’s data shows “errors” that “were placed in the geography of Singapore to trap infringers”. Read the full story for details.

This post will be updated later today if other major news like this comes out.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. scheppler says:

    And what about the new google wakeup service:
    http://www.google.com/googlecalendar/new_wakeup.html ?
    Good on you..

  2. Google censors street view so that all its competitors logos are deleted.

  3. I have to admit, I had forgotten it was April 1 and you had me going right along in amazement until I actually looked at the Pentagon x-ray image and thought, “This is obviously a hoax, I can’t believe Frank didn’t see through this.”

  4. It is April 1st – No?

  5. jbryanm says:

    Well you had me going, but I don’t think shadows show up in xrays…

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